John 12

John 12:1

Ὁ οὖν Ἰησοῦς πρὸ ἓξ ἡμερῶν τοῦ πάσχα ἦλθεν εἰς Βηθανίαν, ὅπου ἦν Λάζαρος, ὃν ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν Ἰησοῦς.

Therefore, Jesus, before six days of the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was whom Jesus raised from the dead.

Paraphrase: Since the Sanhedrin was so determined to find Jesus and it was no longer safe for Him to move about publicly, Jesus had taken up His residence at Ephraim. (John 11:54) One Friday morning, Jesus got up and travelled with His disciples to Bethany (only two miles from Jerusalem). He arrived before the Sabbath and enjoyed the fellowship of Martha, Mary, and also Lazarus whom He had recently brought back from the dead. The Passover celebration was drawing closer, and Jesus knew that His mission was coming to a close. He knew that the next Sabbath, He would be laying in a sepulcher awaiting the glory of the resurrection.


It is difficult to figure out on what day all this would have happened, cf Wieseler, Lange, and Hendriksen.

For this city, see bottom of p419 or Hengstenberg p74.


John 12:2

ἐποίησαν οὖν αὐτῷ δεῖπνον ἐκεῖ, καὶ ἡ Μάρθα διηκόνει, ὁ δὲ Λάζαρος εἷς ἦν ἐκ τῶν ἀνακειμένων σὺν αὐτῷ·

Therefore, they made a supper for Him there and Martha was serving, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with Him.

Paraphrase: Once Jesus arrived, He spent the night in Martha and Mary’s house. The following day was the Sabbath which He spent in happy fellowship with His friends. That evening, Jesus’ hosts prepared Him a meal which the men enjoyed together while Martha served.


Only men would have been allowed to eat with Jesus.


John 12:3

ἡ οὖν Μαριὰμ λαβοῦσα λίτραν μύρου νάρδου πιστικῆς πολυτίμου ἤλειψεν τοὺς πόδας τοῦ Ἰησοῦ καὶ ἐξέμαξεν ταῖς θριξὶν αὐτῆς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ· ἡ δὲ οἰκία ἐπληρώθη ἐκ τῆς ὀσμῆς τοῦ μύρου.

Mary, taking a measure of genuine, expensive, and fragrant ointment anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped with her hair His feet. Then the house was full of the smell of the ointment.

Paraphrase: While the men reclining at the table and enjoying their food, Mary came in and poured some ointment on Jesus’ feet.  This ointment was pure Nard, very expensive and rich with wonderful smells.  After she anointed Jesus’ feet with this ointment, she wiped His feet with her hair.  Slowly, the wonderful smell of this Nard wafted throughout the entire house.



John 12:4

λέγει δὲ Ἰούδας ὁ Ἰσκαριώτης εἷς τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ, ὁ μέλλων αὐτὸν παραδιδόναι·

Now Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, the one who was about to betray Him said

Paraphrase: Now one of Jesus’ disciples was Judas Iscariot.  He was the treasurer for the group (John 13:29) as well as the one who was shortly going to betray Jesus to the Sanhedrin. (John 11:57; 18:3)  When he saw what Mary had done, he objected.



John 12:5

Διὰ τί τοῦτο τὸ μύρον οὐκ ἐπράθη τριακοσίων δηναρίων καὶ ἐδόθη πτωχοῖς;

“On account of what reason was the ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?

Paraphrase: “Would it not have been better,” he asked, “to sell this ointment and to donate the money to some poor person or cause?  I suspect that this much Nard could possibly have sold for over three hundred denarii!”


τριακοσίων δηναρίων = genitive of price, GGBB p121.


John 12:6

εἶπεν δὲ τοῦτο οὐχ ὅτι περὶ τῶν πτωχῶν ἔμελεν αὐτῷ, ἀλλ’ ὅτι κλέπτης ἦν καὶ τὸ γλωσσόκομον ἔχων τὰ βαλλόμενα ἐβάσταζεν.

But he said this not because he had in him a care concerning the poor but because a thief he was who had the money-box, and he would lift what was cast into it.

Paraphrase: Now Judas didn’t have any genuine concern for the poor.  On the contrary, he was the treasurer for the disciples and was thinking that if the money went into the treasury, he would be able skim some of it off for himself.



John 12:7

εἶπεν οὖν ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Ἄφες αὐτήν, ἵνα εἰς τὴν ἡμέραν τοῦ ἐνταφιασμοῦ μου τηρήσῃ αὐτό·

Therefore, Jesus said, “Let her go in order that she might keep it for the day of My burial.”

Paraphrase: Jesus, however, shut Judas down and told him to let her be. “She is doing this for a reason.” He said. “In the coming week, I am going to die and be buried.  Mary will not be able at that time to anoint my dead body as is usually done.  As a token of her deep love for Me, she has saved up this Nard hoping to anoint My body with it.  She has done it now, however, as a preparation for my coming burial.  Mary understands My real mission better than most of you. (John 12:24)”


See the imperatives although Ἄφες is a μι-verb and thus will be spelled differently.


John 12:8

τοὺς πτωχοὺς γὰρ πάντοτε ἔχετε μεθ’ ἑαυτῶν, ἐμὲ δὲ οὐ πάντοτε ἔχετε.

For the poor always you have with yourselves, but Me you do not have always.

Paraphrase: Long after I am gone, you can still work to relieve the distress of the poor, but you will not be able to do that for Me seeing this is the last Sabbath we are ever going to spend together on earth.


The third person, reflexive pronoun ἑαυτῶν is often used for the second person.


John 12:9

Ἔγνω οὖν ὄχλος πολὺς ἐκ τῶν Ἰουδαίων ὅτι ἐκεῖ ἐστιν, καὶ ἦλθον οὐ διὰ τὸν Ἰησοῦν μόνον, ἀλλ’ ἵνα καὶ τὸν Λάζαρον ἴδωσιν ὃν ἤγειρεν ἐκ νεκρῶν.

Now a large crowd of Jews knew that He is there, and they came not on account of Jesus only but in order that even Lazarus they might see whom He raised from the dead.

Paraphrase: Now the news about Lazarus being brought back to life had spread like wildfire throughout Judea.  Crowds of people came to see this man whom many had confirmed was really dead and now was living.  In fact, people did not come any longer just to see Jesus.  They also wanted to see Lazarus.  Lazarus had become a kind of tourist attraction.



John 12:10

ἐβουλεύσαντο δὲ οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἵνα καὶ τὸν Λάζαρον ἀποκτείνωσιν,

Then, the High Priests resolved that even Lazarus they would kill,

Paraphrase: This was too much for the High Priests who were already upset that Jesus was gaining such a following. (John 12:11, 19)  They knew they had to get rid of Lazarus some how as well.  He was a living argument that Jesus was the Messiah.  Therefore, they began to lay plans to take out Lazarus as well as Jesus.


ἐβουλεύσαντο is perhaps an inceptive aorist?  see §41 here.


John 12:11

ὅτι πολλοὶ δι’ αὐτὸν ὑπῆγον τῶν Ἰουδαίων καὶ ἐπίστευον εἰς τὸν Ἰησοῦν.

because many of the Jews, on account of him, were leaving and were putting their trust in Jesus.

Paraphrase: Indeed, many of the Jews had already given up on the religion enforced by the Sanhedrin and were now joining Jesus and giving themselves over to Him both for body and soul, in life and in death.


Note the imperfects. Burton writes: “When an Imperfect refers to an action not separated from the time of speaking by a recognized interval, it is best translated into English by the Perfect, using preferably the progressive form, unless the verb itself suggests action in progress.” §28


John 12:12

Τῇ ἐπαύριον ὁ ὄχλος πολὺς ὁ ἐλθὼν εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν, ἀκούσαντες ὅτι ἔρχεται ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἰς Ἱεροσόλυμα,

On the morrow, the great crowd who had come to the feast and hearing that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem…

Paraphrase: Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, a large crowd of people were buzzing with excitement. They had been wondering for some time if Jesus was going to come to the Passover celebration (John 11:56), and now the news had reached them that He was on His way!



John 12:13

ἔλαβον τὰ βαΐα τῶν φοινίκων καὶ ἐξῆλθον εἰς ὑπάντησιν αὐτῷ, καὶ ἐκραύγαζον· Ὡσαννά, εὐλογημένος ὁ ἐρχόμενος ἐν ὀνόματι κυρίου, καὶ ὁ βασιλεὺς τοῦ Ἰσραήλ.

They took branches of palm trees and departed to meet Him, and they were calling, “Hosanna, being blessed is the One coming in the Lord’s Name and the King of Israel!”

Paraphrase: Upon hearing this news, the crowds were gripped with a feeling of triumph, and they flooded out of the city in order to meet Jesus and His entourage.  As they ran, some cut off palm branches and spread them on the road (Matthew 21:8).  Others took off their coats and spread these on the road to make a kind of red carpet upon which the King could make His entrance.  When they finally caught sight of Jesus, they began to cheer and call out, “Come save us! We’re saved! Surely God has blessed this One Who is coming to save us! This is the great King who we have been waiting for all these long ages! Our day of oppression is over! This is the King, to whom God will give the nations as His inheritance and the ends of the earth as His possession. He will break the Romans with an iron scepter; He will shatter them like pottery!” (Psalm 2:8, 9)



John 12:14

εὑρὼν δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς ὀνάριον ἐκάθισεν ἐπ’ αὐτό, καθώς ἐστιν γεγραμμένον·

Now, Jesus, finding a donkey, sat on it even as it is written,

Paraphrase: Now previously, Jesus had arranged for the use of a donkey.  He now sat on this donkey as He made His way to Jerusalem.  This is, of course, exactly what was prophesied of Him by the prophet Zechariah,


εὑρὼν is an aorist participle which can refer to an action that is antecedent in time to the action of the main verb (in this case ἐκάθισεν). cf Burton §134.


John 12:15

Μὴ φοβοῦ, θυγάτηρ Σιών· ἰδοὺ ὁ βασιλεύς σου ἔρχεται, καθήμενος ἐπὶ πῶλον ὄνου.

Fear not, daughter Zion, behold your King is coming, being seated on the foal of a donkey.

Paraphrase: “Do not be afraid, my daughter! It is true that you are weak and as vulnerable as a young girl, but now I ask you to look up.  Do you see what is coming?!  It is your King, the One who is bringing you salvation and setting up His kingdom in your midst.  He is coming to you, not seated on a charging war horse as if He were going to setup an earthly kingdom.  On the contrary, He is seated on the foal of a donkey showing that His kingdom is one of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)  His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36) but is in the heavenly realms far above all earthly rulers and authorities, powers and dominions, and every name that is named, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.  God has put everything under His feet and made Him head over all things. (Ephesians 1:20-22)


“Nothing further from a Zealotic view of the Messiah could be imagined.” writes Beasley-Murray on this verse.


John 12:16

ταῦτα οὐκ ἔγνωσαν αὐτοῦ οἱ μαθηταὶ τὸ πρῶτον, ἀλλ’ ὅτε ἐδοξάσθη Ἰησοῦς τότε ἐμνήσθησαν ὅτι ταῦτα ἦν ἐπ’ αὐτῷ γεγραμμένα καὶ ταῦτα ἐποίησαν αὐτῷ.

These things, His disciples did not yet know but when Jesus was glorified. Then they remembered that these things were being written about Him and these things they did to Him.

Paraphrase: As this triumphal march proceeded, the disciples did not yet make the connection between the events they were now witnessing and the prophecy of Zechariah.  Long after Jesus was gone, however, and when the Spirit was teaching them (John 16:13), the real truth of what had transpired on that day slowly dawned on them.  Then, they remembered what they had witnessed on this eventful day and saw how it was a fulfillment of what Zechariah had prophesied so many years before.


For ταῦτα ἦν, see principle 5.


John 12:17

ἐμαρτύρει οὖν ὁ ὄχλος ὁ ὢν μετ’ αὐτοῦ ὅτε τὸν Λάζαρον ἐφώνησεν ἐκ τοῦ μνημείου καὶ ἤγειρεν αὐτὸν ἐκ νεκρῶν.

Now the crowd who were with Him when Lazarus was called out of the grave and raised him from the dead, were testifying.

Paraphrase: Also in the crowd that day were some people who had been with Jesus the day He had brought Lazarus back from the dead.  These people were proclaiming far and wide what they had witnessed that day.



John 12:18

διὰ τοῦτο καὶ ὑπήντησεν αὐτῷ ὁ ὄχλος ὅτι ἤκουσαν τοῦτο αὐτὸν πεποιηκέναι τὸ σημεῖον.

On account of this, the crowd had gone to meet Him because they heard this report, i.e. He had performed a sign.

Paraphrase: When people heard the report that a dead man had been raised to life, everyone was eager to see both the man who had been raised but also the miracle worker who had performed this wonder.


For see πεποιηκέναι, see Burton §375.  Note the accusative αὐτὸν which is the agent of the infinitive; cf Robertson.

On John’s use of σημεῖον, see Zahn.  Godet writes: “He uses here [Godet is commenting on John 2:11], for the first time, the term sign σημεῖον which is in harmony with the following expression: “He manifested His glory.”  source

John 12:19

οἱ οὖν Φαρισαῖοι εἶπαν πρὸς ἑαυτούς· Θεωρεῖτε ὅτι οὐκ ὠφελεῖτε οὐδέν· ἴδε ὁ κόσμος ὀπίσω αὐτοῦ ἀπῆλθεν.

Therefore, the Pharisees said to themselves, “Look, you are not profiting anything; behold the world after Him has departed!”

Paraphrase: Because of this new popularity for Jesus, the Pharisees began to despair of ever getting rid of Jesus.  “Look!” they said to each other, “We’re not getting anywhere with Him. Everything we do seems to fail.  It seems as though the entire world has gone over to Him!”



John 12:20

Ἦσαν δὲ Ἕλληνές τινες ἐκ τῶν ἀναβαινόντων ἵνα προσκυνήσωσιν ἐν τῇ ἑορτῇ·

John 12:21

οὗτοι οὖν προσῆλθον Φιλίππῳ τῷ ἀπὸ Βηθσαϊδὰ τῆς Γαλιλαίας, καὶ ἠρώτων αὐτὸν λέγοντες· Κύριε, θέλομεν τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἰδεῖν.

John 12:22

ἔρχεται ὁ Φίλιππος καὶ λέγει τῷ Ἀνδρέᾳ· ἔρχεται Ἀνδρέας καὶ Φίλιππος καὶ λέγουσιν τῷ Ἰησοῦ.

John 12:23

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἀποκρίνεται αὐτοῖς λέγων· Ἐλήλυθεν ἡ ὥρα ἵνα δοξασθῇ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

John 12:24

ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ἐὰν μὴ ὁ κόκκος τοῦ σίτου πεσὼν εἰς τὴν γῆν ἀποθάνῃ, αὐτὸς μόνος μένει· ἐὰν δὲ ἀποθάνῃ, πολὺν καρπὸν φέρει.

John 12:25

ὁ φιλῶν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἀπολλύει αὐτήν, καὶ ὁ μισῶν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ τούτῳ εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον φυλάξει αὐτήν.

John 12:26

ἐὰν ἐμοί τις διακονῇ ἐμοὶ ἀκολουθείτω, καὶ ὅπου εἰμὶ ἐγὼ ἐκεῖ καὶ ὁ διάκονος ὁ ἐμὸς ἔσται· ἐάν τις ἐμοὶ διακονῇ τιμήσει αὐτὸν ὁ πατήρ.

John 12:27

Νῦν ἡ ψυχή μου τετάρακται, καὶ τί εἴπω; πάτερ, σῶσόν με ἐκ τῆς ὥρας ταύτης. ἀλλὰ διὰ τοῦτο ἦλθον εἰς τὴν ὥραν ταύτην.

John 12:28

πάτερ, δόξασόν σου τὸ ὄνομα. ἦλθεν οὖν φωνὴ ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ· Καὶ ἐδόξασα καὶ πάλιν δοξάσω.

John 12:29

ὁ οὖν ὄχλος ὁ ἑστὼς καὶ ἀκούσας ἔλεγεν βροντὴν γεγονέναι· ἄλλοι ἔλεγον· Ἄγγελος αὐτῷ λελάληκεν.

John 12:30

ἀπεκρίθη Ἰησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν· Οὐ δι’ ἐμὲ ἡ φωνὴ αὕτη γέγονεν ἀλλὰ δι’ ὑμᾶς.

John 12:31

νῦν κρίσις ἐστὶν τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, νῦν ὁ ἄρχων τοῦ κόσμου τούτου ἐκβληθήσεται ἔξω·

John 12:32

κἀγὼ ἐὰν ὑψωθῶ ἐκ τῆς γῆς, πάντας ἑλκύσω πρὸς ἐμαυτόν.

John 12:33

τοῦτο δὲ ἔλεγεν σημαίνων ποίῳ θανάτῳ ἤμελλεν ἀποθνῄσκειν.

John 12:34

ἀπεκρίθη οὖν αὐτῷ ὁ ὄχλος· Ἡμεῖς ἠκούσαμεν ἐκ τοῦ νόμου ὅτι ὁ χριστὸς μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, καὶ πῶς λέγεις σὺ ὅτι δεῖ ὑψωθῆναι τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου; τίς ἐστιν οὗτος ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου;

John 12:35

εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς· Ἔτι μικρὸν χρόνον τὸ φῶς ἐν ὑμῖν ἐστιν. περιπατεῖτε ὡς τὸ φῶς ἔχετε, ἵνα μὴ σκοτία ὑμᾶς καταλάβῃ, καὶ ὁ περιπατῶν ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ οὐκ οἶδεν ποῦ ὑπάγει.

John 12:36

ὡς τὸ φῶς ἔχετε, πιστεύετε εἰς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα υἱοὶ φωτὸς γένησθε. Ταῦτα ἐλάλησεν Ἰησοῦς, καὶ ἀπελθὼν ἐκρύβη ἀπ’ αὐτῶν.

John 12:37

τοσαῦτα δὲ αὐτοῦ σημεῖα πεποιηκότος ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν οὐκ ἐπίστευον εἰς αὐτόν,

John 12:38

ἵνα ὁ λόγος Ἠσαΐου τοῦ προφήτου πληρωθῇ ὃν εἶπεν· Κύριε, τίς ἐπίστευσεν τῇ ἀκοῇ ἡμῶν; καὶ ὁ βραχίων κυρίου τίνι ἀπεκαλύφθη;

John 12:39

διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἠδύναντο πιστεύειν ὅτι πάλιν εἶπεν Ἠσαΐας·

John 12:40

Τετύφλωκεν αὐτῶν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς καὶ ἐπώρωσεν αὐτῶν τὴν καρδίαν, ἵνα μὴ ἴδωσιν τοῖς ὀφθαλμοῖς καὶ νοήσωσιν τῇ καρδίᾳ καὶ στραφῶσιν, καὶ ἰάσομαι αὐτούς.

John 12:41

ταῦτα εἶπεν Ἠσαΐας ὅτι εἶδεν τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, καὶ ἐλάλησεν περὶ αὐτοῦ.

John 12:42

ὅμως μέντοι καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἀρχόντων πολλοὶ ἐπίστευσαν εἰς αὐτόν, ἀλλὰ διὰ τοὺς Φαρισαίους οὐχ ὡμολόγουν ἵνα μὴ ἀποσυνάγωγοι γένωνται,

John 12:43

ἠγάπησαν γὰρ τὴν δόξαν τῶν ἀνθρώπων μᾶλλον ἤπερ τὴν δόξαν τοῦ θεοῦ.

John 12:44

Ἰησοῦς δὲ ἔκραξεν καὶ εἶπεν· Ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ οὐ πιστεύει εἰς ἐμὲ ἀλλὰ εἰς τὸν πέμψαντά με,

John 12:45

καὶ ὁ θεωρῶν ἐμὲ θεωρεῖ τὸν πέμψαντά με.

John 12:46

ἐγὼ φῶς εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἐλήλυθα, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ μὴ μείνῃ.

John 12:47

καὶ ἐάν τίς μου ἀκούσῃ τῶν ῥημάτων καὶ μὴ φυλάξῃ, ἐγὼ οὐ κρίνω αὐτόν, οὐ γὰρ ἦλθον ἵνα κρίνω τὸν κόσμον ἀλλ’ ἵνα σώσω τὸν κόσμον.

John 12:48

ὁ ἀθετῶν ἐμὲ καὶ μὴ λαμβάνων τὰ ῥήματά μου ἔχει τὸν κρίνοντα αὐτόν· ὁ λόγος ὃν ἐλάλησα ἐκεῖνος κρινεῖ αὐτὸν ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ ἡμέρᾳ·

John 12:49

ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐξ ἐμαυτοῦ οὐκ ἐλάλησα, ἀλλ’ ὁ πέμψας με πατὴρ αὐτός μοι ἐντολὴν δέδωκεν τί εἴπω καὶ τί λαλήσω.

John 12:50

καὶ οἶδα ὅτι ἡ ἐντολὴ αὐτοῦ ζωὴ αἰώνιός ἐστιν. ἃ οὖν ἐγὼ λαλῶ, καθὼς εἴρηκέν μοι ὁ πατήρ, οὕτως λαλῶ.

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